A Day in the Life of a Working Mom and Stay at Home Dad


My job brought us to Portland in 2016. Our initial plan was for my husband to find a job and us put our four-month-old in daycare. However, after looking at our finances and realizing the majority of my husband’s potential paycheck would go to child care costs, the idea of him becoming a permanent SAHD (stay-at-home dad) seemed more and more feasible. Flash forward two years later and we have settled into a nice working mom/stay-at-home dad routine.

role models sahd

Here’s a peek at what a random week night looked like for us last month:

7:30 a.m. After a late bedtime the night before, my husband and I reluctantly roll out of bed.

7:45 a.m. Our 2.5 year-old is still sleeping so I squeeze in a workout while my husband figures out plans for the day.

8:15 a.m. My husband hears “dada, dada” from the monitor. Our toddler is up a little early considering her 11:15 p.m. bedtime the night before. Fingers crossed for a long afternoon nap.

8:30 a.m. I finish my workout and hop in the shower while our toddler plays (by herself, amazingly!) My husband makes breakfast and finalizes OMSI plans with a fellow stay-at-home dad.

9:15 a.m. My husband and I eat breakfast, and try (unsuccessfully) to bribe our daughter into eating.

9:50 a.m. Time to go! We are a one-car family, so they drop me off at the MAX before heading to OMSI.

Working Mom

10:15 a.m. I board my MAX train and use the time to transition into “work” mode, mainly checking and responding to emails.

10:30 a.m. My work day begins. I feel a little sad missing OMSI but quickly get caught up in emails and meetings.


2:40 p.m. In the middle of a meeting I feel my phone vibrate. I quickly look through pictures from the OMSI trip. Loving technology right now, but also wish I could have been there!

Stay at Home Dad



10:30 a.m. OMSI time! Our toddler has been excited for the water area, so my husband and his stay-at-home dad friend head there first. Unfortunately, they rearranged since our last visit. He braces for a meltdown but she’s surprisingly calm, cool, and collected. She heads off to play while the dads get in some adult conversation.

1:00 p.m. Back home for a mac and cheese with veggies lunch and an episode of Puffin Rock…seems to be the only way we can get her to eat nowadays!

2:30 p.m. Nap time for our toddler who is wiped from OMSI. My husband sends out photos from the day and then works on some house projects.

4:45 p.m. Two hours and fifteen minutes later, our daughter wakes up. We love these longer naps she’s been taking lately, but also hope it doesn’t mean she’s getting sick.

5:00 p.m. I give my husband a call to discuss the plan for evening pickup. I can leave now (and work a little longer from home) or stay at work and get picked up later. I don’t like working after I get home in the evening, but given my late start, plus a deadline, it feels necessary. We decide it’ll be easier to get a sleepy toddler in the car if I come home now than interrupt playtime later.

5:45 p.m. We get home from the train station and chat about the day. I reluctantly head into my office (aka our guest room) while my husband and daughter go for a bike ride (once again, I’m bummed to miss it). They get back around 7:00 p.m. and turn on Puffin Rock for her while he gets dinner together.

7:30 p.m. I finish working and we eat together as a family. Just like breakfast, this translates into the adults eating while our toddler comes up with creative ways to not eat!

8:00 p.m. We clean up dinner, get our toddler’s room ready for bedtime while she entertains herself, and then it’s bath time.

8:45 p.m. Time for diaper, PJs, and two books. Then we brush teeth, followed by chapstick and lotion (this kid loves her routines!) She gets a hug from dad and then she and I rock in the glider and sing. She doles out musical requests like “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” mixed with “Rain, Rain, Go Away.” I lay her down in the crib, rub her back, and say goodnight.

9:30 p.m. Toddler is asleep, thank goodness! I do some writing for my blog and my stay-at-home dad husband works on a house project.

11:30 p.m. We reluctantly drag ourselves to the bedroom so we can sleep and do it all over again tomorrow!

sahdJill is the mama to a hilarious toddler and wife to a one-of-a-kind stay-at-home dad. By day, she works as a professor and by night she blogs about her academic experiences at Toddler on the Tenure Track. She loves all things planning, scheduling, organizing, and Olympic lifting!